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PASSÉ SIMPLE  
(THE SIMPLE PAST)  
 
By Heather Jourden  
 
 
 
 
PASSÉ SIMPLE...because even the most complicated of pasts can be simplified and 
overcome through love and grace.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chapter 1  
 
	His eyes were lit with concern.  “Where were you last night?  Anna said you 
didn’t come in until early this morning.  Another late night study?”  
	Her eyes were hidden by sunglasses and she kept her head down as he looked 
on.  She prayed he couldn’t see her shame or her fear.  She knew he’d understand it 
wasn’t her fault, but she couldn’t tell him; she couldn’t tell anyone what had 
happened.  “Sorta” she mumbled.  
	“Hey, are you OK?   What’s wrong?”  He watched as she picked at her 
breakfast.  She never did eat much for breakfast, but even this was unusual.  “You 
know you can tell me anything.  What happened last night?”  He pulled his chair 
closer to her and went to take her into his arms, but she moved away.  “Sweetheart?”  
	“We’re gonna be late for class.  We’d better go.”  
	“Are you OK?”  
	“I will be.  I always am.  Come on, lets get to class.”  
	“Shall I meet you at 10?”  
	“Um, no, I’ve got something I need to do.”  
	“What about lunch?”  They were walking towards class now.  
	“Well, um,” she sighed deeply.  “Well, I need to get to work right away.”  
	“Ok.  I’ll run you over before lunch.  Are you gonna eat?”  
	“I’ll find something.  Don’t worry about taking me to work.  I need the walk so I 
can think.”  
	“Hey,”  He stopped and reached for her arm.  She flinched and drew her breath 
in sharply.  He could tell she was in pain.  “What happened?” He started to pull her 
sleeve up to look, but she pulled away from him.  “Are you angry with me?”  
	“No.” Tears in her eyes, she ran into the building and into class.  She wasn’t 
angry with Charles, but neither could she face him now.  She rubbed at the cut on her 
arm, where he’d grabbed at her.  She looked at her sleeve and noticed fresh blood.  
	“Damn!” she swore to herself.  She quietly slipped out the door and down the 
hall to the bathroom.  She slipped into the stall and grabbed some toilet paper.  
Wetting some towels, she used one to pat the blood away from the cut and then 
pressed a second on the jagged tear in her flesh.  She folded a third, dry paper towel 
over the wet compress and tied it around her arm with the toilet paper.  It didn’t look 
secure, but it would have to do until 10, when she was going back to her room for 
another shower.  She felt so dirty.  Throwing away the bloody towel, she rolled her 
sleeve down and returned to class.  It had just started.  Good; she couldn’t afford 
another absence just yet.  
	In the meantime, Charles was in class pondering Eileen’s behavior.  Something 
terrible had happened last night, but she wasn’t talking.  Her arm had been cut in 
whatever happened; he’d felt fresh blood on her arm when he’d grabbed her.  He 
wished she’d talk to him.  
 
 Chapter 2  
 
 	Charles was at a loss.  He turned to Jenny.  “You know her.  What could have 
happened?  Why won’t she talk to me?”  
	Jenny saw the anguish in his eyes.  “I tell you what.  I saw her going to her 
room.  I’ll go see what I can find out.”  She left him on the steps of Adams and 
disappeared into the basement.  
	“Eileen?  Are you in here, honey?”  She knocked on the door and started to 
open it.  She found it locked and started in surprise.  Eileen and Anna never locked the 
door.  Just then, Eileen emerged from the shower, holding her bathrobe tight around 
her.  
	“Oh, Jenny.  Hi.”  She was unusually curt and walked past her friend to the 
door.  Taking her keys in her hand, she unlocked the door and peered cautiously in.  
	“Eileen, you locked the door.  Nobody’s in there.”  
	“You never know,” she replied cryptically and disappeared into the room, 
pulling the door closed behind her.    
	Jenny knocked again.  “Eileen?  What’s wrong honey?”  
	“Just a minute, Jenny” Eileen pulled the door open.  Jenny stepped inside, and 
Eileen quickly closed the door behind her.  She had put on a bra and some shorts now, 
and Jenny gasped in shock.  
	Eileen had bruises all over her abdomen and cuts on her arms and legs.  One on 
her arm bled profusely, and Eileen stepped to the sink to pick up a piece of gauze.  
	“Eileen, honey, what happened?”  Jenny stepped closer and took another piece 
of gauze.  Easing Eileen’s hand away, Jenny dabbed at the wound gently.    
	Eileen inhaled sharply.  “Jenny, I’m scared.  He said he’d send someone after 
me, but this guy isn’t content to just kill me and get it over with.  He’s determined to 
toy with me.”  
	“Why don’t you get help?”  
	“I can’t.  Oh, Jenny, it was worse than ever before!  He came up on me from 
behind and grabbed me.  You see this here?” indicating a mark on her neck.  “That’s 
where he held the knife to my throat.  He said if I dared even breathe loud he’d kill me.  
He put handcuffs on me and Oh, God, Jenny!”  Eileen collapsed in hysterics.  
	Jenny took her friend into her arms and led her to the bed, where she sat down 
with her.  “Eileen, honey, you’ve got to tell the police.”  
	Eileen interrupted.  “Dammit, Jenny, he WAS a cop!”  
 
 Chapter 3  
 
 	Eileen shuddered as she sobbed in a heap on the bed.  Jenny put her arms 
around her friend.  
	“He was freakin’ cop!  He kept saying ‘Quit resisting me!  You’re resisting 
arrest!’  He was SO damn condescending!  Oh, Jenny, he wouldn’t stop!  I was so 
scared.  He kept telling me that he was gonna kill me if I didn’t...if I wouldn’t let 
him..Oh Jenny!”  Her tears drowned the words.  
	“Eileen, honey, Charles is upstairs right now, scared silly that he did something 
and that he’s going to lose you.”  
	“Jenny, how could accept me now?  I only had my silly bow left and now even 
that’s been taken from me!  How can I dare to hope that I will ever have a decent life if 
Ryan is still determined after all these years to destroy me?  How can I ask him to stay 
with me when I could be bringing his life into danger at the worst and at the least I’m 
bringing him damaged goods?”  
	“Eileen, you aren’t damaged goods!  Besides, shouldn’t you allow him to decide 
for himself what he wants?  He accepted you, knowing that Ryan might decide to seek 
you out.  Please, Eileen, talk to him.”  
	“Jenny, you’re the only one who knows.  Come with me.  I can’t face him 
alone.”  
	“Sure, honey.  Here, wash your face and get dressed.”  Jenny grabbed a 
washcloth from the shelf and ran hot water over it.  Handing it to Eileen, she went to 
the closet and looked for something nice.  
	“Something with long sleeves and jeans, please, dear.  I don’t want...”  
	“How’s this?”  Jenny held out a forest colored turtle and a lion jacket.  
	“Yeah, that’s good.” She pulled on her jeans and started to pull the turtle on, 
but it caught on the wrap on her arm.  Eileen stopped, and Jenny eased it over the 
bandage.  When she was dressed, she turned to Jenny and offered a weak smile.  “Let’s 
go.”  
 
 Chapter 4  
 
 	As the two girls walked up the stairs, Eileen stopped Jenny.  “Are you going to 
miss any classes or work doing this for me?  I mean, I don’t want to cause you any 
trouble.”  
	“I don’t mind.  I’ll have Charles call in for you two, and when he comes back, 
I’ll call in for me and let Timothy know where we’re headed.  Where are we going, by 
the way?”  
	“I think we’ll go out to the lake.  It’s so quiet and peaceful there.  I’ve always 
loved the water.  Besides, I need to nap.  I didn’t get any sleep last night.”  She smiled 
wryly.  
	They continued up the stairs and found Charles pacing nervously.  Jenny 
laughed.  
	“You look like a new father, waiting outside for news of his baby and his wife!”  
	Charles looked at Eileen incredulously.  “You don’t mean...How??? I mean, we 
haven’t DONE anything!”  
	Eileen gave a nervous laugh and Jenny smiled, relieved.  
	“No, Charles, she’s not pregnant.  But you two do need to talk, and she’s asked 
me to come along.  Go call in for both of you.  You’ll need the afternoon, at least, for 
this one.”  
	Charles quickly went to the phones and made the two calls, still wondering 
what was going on and scared stiff that he was about to lose the woman of his dreams.  
When he came back, Eileen gave him a nervous smile and Jenny went to go make her 
calls.  Eileen was still keeping her gaze averted and Charles wondered what he could 
say to make her feel better.  
	“I’m not angry with you, beloved.”  Her voice was soft, and he had to strain to 
hear her.  “I love you, but I’m scared.”  He watched as a tear crept down her face.  
	“Oh, Eileen, honey, I’m here for you.  You know that I love you.”  
	“Timothy is going to be praying for you, honey.  I didn’t tell him anything, but I 
asked him to pray and also to call Sasha and have her pray.  Let’s go, honey.”  Jenny 
had returned, and Eileen gave her a thankful smile.  
 
Chapter 5  
 
	When they got to the car, Jenny got in the back seat and while Charles walked 
around the car, she asked Eileen, “Do you want me to tell him on the way there?  That 
way he can have some extra time to handle the shock while you rest.”  
	“Would you?  Thank you so much!  I’m gonna sleep now.”  Eileen’s voice was 
almost inaudible.  She closed her eyes and was soon sound asleep.  As Charles and 
Jenny looked on, she tossed and turned fitfully.  
	“Something happened last night, didn’t it?  She’s reliving it in her nightmares.”  
Charles had gotten to know Eileen very well in the past year, and he could tell when 
something was wrong.  “I love her so much!  I wish I could make all her hurts just go 
away!”  
	“Well, maybe you can help with this one.  She’s scared you won’t be able to 
love her, not after this, anyway.”  As Jenny spoke, she put her hand on Eileen’s arm.  
She had stopped tossing and now lay limp in the seat, her chest barely rising and 
falling with each breath.  
	“What happened, Jenny?  What is so terrible that she thinks I can’t handle it?”  
	“You know she’s been afraid that Ryan would come after her, right?  Well, 
while we were thinking her fears were a little silly and she was trying to ensure that 
she couldn’t be found, Ryan did indeed find her.”  
	“What do you mean, he found her?”  
	“Some...”She was at a loss for the mot juste “well, lets say creep, at the risk of 
committing a MAJOR understatement.  Some creep attacked her last night and raped 
her.  That cut on her arm that you noticed is a result of the attack.”  
	“We have to go to the police.  Surely she knows that!”  Charles was livid.  
	“He was a cop.  He was wearing a uniform and had cuffs and everything, she 
said.”  
	Charles couldn’t listen anymore.  He pulled over. 
  	“Charles, she wanted to go to the lake.  She said she felt at peace there.”  
	“I’m too angry to drive.”  
	“Then let me.” Jenny got out of the car and took Charles’ keys.  
	The remainder of the ride to the lake was a peaceful one, with Eileen sleeping  
silently and Charles fuming in the back.  
 
 Chapter 6  
 
 	They had been at the lake for fifteen minutes before Charles realized just how  
quiet it was.  
	“It’s too quiet, Jenny.  Eileen snores.”  
	Jenny reached over and gently shook Eileen.  
	“Eileen, honey, wake up.  Eileen, it’s Jenny and Charles, come on, wake up.”  
When Eileen still wouldn’t wake, Jenny gently lifted her  friend’s arm.  “Eileen, honey, 
wake up.”  Her fingers felt the warm dampness of fresh blood, and Jenny turned to 
Charles.  
	“Charles, come around here for me.  We have to get Eileen to the hospital, 
now.”  She looked down at Eileen’s deceptively peaceful face and then reached across 
her to open the door.  Charles was already out of the car and came around to the open 
door, while Jenny crawled into the back seat  
	“Lay the seat back.  I want to get her into the back seat, where I can try to stop 
the bleeding.”  Jenny was trying to pull her into the back seat.  Charles opened the 
back door and helped Jenny with Eileen.    
	“It’ll be lot’s easier if we just leave the seat down.”  He closed the doors and got 
behind the wheel.  As he spun off towards the hospital, he asked Jenny, “What’s 
wrong?  What happened to her now?”  
	“When I went down to her room, she had just gotten out of the shower.  That 
cut on her arm was bleeding badly.  She dismissed my concern and said it would be 
fine.  She tried to wrap it, but it was hard to do one handed, so I took over for her.  I 
thought I’d wrapped it tight enough to apply pressure and stop the bleeding, but I 
guess not.”  Jenny had one hand over the cut, pressing so hard that she was certain 
that if Eileen had been awake, she’d be weeping in pain.  She moved her other hand to 
reach the pressure point in her friend’s upper arm.  “She’s still losing blood.  I don’t 
know what else to do.”  
	Charles was speeding towards the hospital.  He reached down and picked up 
the car phone.  
	“Take this and call the hospital.”  Jenny looked at her hands and let go of the 
pressure point  to grab the phone.  Quickly turning it on, she dialed 911.  
	“My friend has a gash on her arm that won’t quit bleeding.  She’s passed out, 
and her boyfriend and I are on the way to the hospital with her right now.”  
	“Are you putting pressure on the cut?”  
	“Yes, and I’ve got her pressure point on the arm, too.”  Jenny cradled the phone 
with her shoulder and put her hand back on the pressure point.  
	“We’ll be waiting for you when you get here.”  
 
Chapter 7  
 
	“Yes, Timothy, can you come on over?  Bring Sasha and Anna.  Jeannette is 
already over here.  Charles is on the phone with her parents and his parents are on the 
way.”  Jenny paused and listened.  “She’s on her way to surgery right now.  Come on 
over; I’ll give you the details when you get here.  I love you too.  I’ll see you in a 
minute.”  
	Charles was just hanging up.  “They’re on their way.  They’ll be here around 
four.”  
	“She’ll be fine, Charles.  Don’t worry about her.”  
	“I’m not worried.  I’m strongly concerned.”  He smiled as he thought of the way 
Eileen would have grinned had she been there.  He missed her, and he was scared.  
	“Sure you aren’t worried.  Still, you are uptight.  Relax!  Eileen will be fine.”  
Jenny smiled reassuringly.  “I still haven’t decided how we’re going to tell the police 
without tipping off the weasel.  How do we know that the guy we talk to isn’t the 
monster responsible?”  
	“Did she tell you anything about what he looked like?”  
	“She said it was dark.  She didn’t see his face well.”  
	“I just wish I could DO something!  I feel so powerless here!”  
	“Just sit down over here.  The doctor will let us know how she is as soon as 
she’s out.  Emmy!   We’re over here!”  Their friend Emily had just arrived.  
	“Where is she?”  
	“In surgery.  Did you see Timothy, Anna or Sasha?”  
	“Anna came with me.  She’ll be here in a minute.”  
	“I’m here.”  Anna had just come in.  Timothy followed her and Sasha gave 
Charles a hug as she came in.  
	“Are you OK?”  
	“Not really.”  
	Jenny smiled.  “He’s notworried.”  
	“What happened?”  
	“She was crying when she came in last night.  I asked her what was wrong, and 
she told me that she’d be fine.  She said for me to go back to sleep, so I did.  She was 
gone when I got up.”  
	“She was waiting for me in the student center when I got here to campus this 
morning.”  
	“Still, she’s always in the room when you call her in the morning.  But I still 
don’t know what happened.”  
	Jenny was relaxing in Timothy’s arms.  “She was attacked late last night.  One 
of the knife cuts on her arms was deeper than either of us thought.  It refused to stop 
bleeding, but neither of us realized just how serious it was.  When she, Charles and I 
started out to the lake to talk, she napped.  Somewhere along the way, she must have 
passed out.  I’m not sure quite when, or even how, it happened.  We got her here as 
fast as we could.  The doctor says she’s in pretty bad shape.  He’s trying to patch her up 
now.”  
	“But why?”  Emmy was frustrated.  “And why didn’t she call the police?”  
	“Because the creep who attacked her was a cop, or at least she thinks so.”  
	“Well, is there anything we can do while we wait?”  
	“If Weenie were here, he’d have brought Monopoly, like he did when I was in 
the hospital.”  Anna laughed.  
	“I need to study, actually, but I don’t think I could concentrate.”  
	Jenny smiled at Charles’ comment. “I keep telling you to relax.  You have a 
paper coming up, don’t you?  Go ahead and try reading up on it.  If you need help, I’ll 
do what I can.”  
	“But if the doctor should come back while I’m out at the car?”  
	“Give me your keys, Charles; I’ll get your book.  Which one do you need?”  
Anna started for the car.  
 Chapter 8  
 
 	“How is she?”  Mary and Albert Jones had just arrived at the hospital.  After 
enquiring after Eileen, they had hurried to the second floor waiting room.  Charles and 
Anna sat alone in the room, facing one another on parallel couches, papers and books 
spread around them.  Charles looked up.  “She just got out of surgery.  She’s still in 
recovery.  The doctor said that one of the nurses will come and get us when we can see 
her.”  Charles smiled weakly.  “He said she’ll be just fine.”  
	“Who?  Do they know who it was?”  
	“Not yet.  We’re hoping that when she wakes up, she’ll tell us.”  
	Jenny, Timothy and Sasha came in with bags from Taco Bell.  
	“Any news?”  
	“She’s in recovery.”  
	“Here.  Number 10 with Dr. Pepper, right?”  
	“Yeah.  Thanks Jenny.  You know Eileen’s parents, right?”  
	“We’ve met.  Hello Mary and Albert.  Did you have a good drive?”  
	“Yes, thank you.”  
	“Jenny, would you read over this paper and tell me what you think?  Normally, 
I’d have Eileen do it, but...”  Charles’ voice drifted off.  
	“I understand.  Let me see.”  Jenny took the paper and a pen and started making 
corrections.  Timothy settled in beside her and started reading his latest Civ. 
assignment.  Sasha looked over Anna’s paper and Charles tried to eat dinner.  Mary 
and Albert went to the nurses’ station to see what was happening.  When the nurse 
came in, Charles started to his feet.  
	“Is Mr. Linden here?”  
	“No, sorry,”  Timothy answered and Charles sat down again.  “No one here but 
us chickens.”  Anna and Sasha laughed and Charles gave a sigh of relief.  
	“Some call me...Tim?”  
	“What is your quest?”  
	The two of them laughed while Sasha and Jenny looked on, annoyed.  
	“We’ll have to watch The Holy Grail when she wakes up.  She’ll love it!”  
	“We demand a SHRUBBERY!  Nee!”  Charles was laughing merrily when the 
nurse came in.  
	“You may see her now.  She’s in room 210.”  
	Charles stopped laughing, but the smile remained on his face.  
	“Isn’t that the room I was in when I stayed here?”  Anna and Charles were the 
first in the room, and Anna looked around the tiny room with familiarity.  Eileen 
smiled from the bed.  “I noticed that.  I think it fitting that roommates share the same 
hospital room!  Charles, come sit by me.”  Her voice betrayed her pain and he could see 
the heartbreak within her.  
	“Hey, beautiful,” he greeted her.  
	“Where?”  She laughed, and Charles smiled.  Brushing a loose hair out of her 
face he kissed her forehead.  
	“Right here.  How do you feel?”  
	“Tied up.”  Eileen laughed again, a merry sound.  Then she noticed her parents 
in the doorway.  
	“Momma!  Daddy!  Come give me a hug, please?”  Her eyes pleaded with them, 
and they were beside her in an instant.  Charles moved aside, unobtrusively, taking up 
a position by her head.  
	Seeing tears in her Momma’s eyes, Eileen smiled.  “I’m OK, Momma.  God 
looked out for me and I’m gonna be fine.”  
	“I know, sweetie, I know.”  
	Eileen sighed, and her parents moved aside as Jenny came up.  “I think I need to 
tell someone, but I’m still scared.  I don’t know what he’ll do to me,” Eileen whispered 
to Jenny.  
	“You’ll be fine, honey, I’m sure.  And besides, you have all of us here to protect 
you!  One of us will be here with you around the clock to keep you safe, I promise.”  
Jenny gently squeezed Eileen’s hand and moved aside so Timothy could hug her, and 
then Sasha.  
	Soon the nurse came in and sent everyone into the hall while the doctor 
examined his handiwork.  When he emerged, he announced that she was indeed in 
fine condition and was eager to see her friends.  
	Another nurse approached the group.  “Would one of you like to stay here with 
her?  I can let you use the spare bed as long as we don’t need it.”  Seeing the puzzled 
relief on Charles’ face, she explained, “When she was waking up, she mumbled 
something about not wanting to be alone, about being afraid of the cops.  I don’t need 
any more prompting than that.  Obviously, this is one scared little girl.”  
	“Thank you.  We’ll set something up here in a minute.”  
	The nurse looked around the room.  “Where did her parents go?”  
	“They went to go get a room and dinner.  They’re both taking off of work 
tomorrow, but they have to be back Wednesday, so they’ll be leaving tomorrow 
afternoon,”  Jenny answered for Charles.  
	“Oh, OK.  I just wondered.”  She looked in at the frightened girl and crossed 
herself.  “Lord have mercy,” she said as she left the room.  
	“I’ll call my parents and have them bring me some clothes.  I’ll spend the night 
here, and then in the morning, if someone can stay here while I’m in class, I’ll get a 
shower at the dorm and go to class.”  Charles was all ready with a solution.  “I’ll be 
right back,” he continued.  Kissing Eileen’s forehead and smoothing a loose strand out 
of her face, he left the room fighting tears.  
 
Chapter 9  
 
	She hadn’t been in this hell in so long that she had almost forgotten it existed.  
Shadows of it manifested themselves from time to time, but never  had she ever 
thought that she would have to revisit it.  Tossing and turning in her sleep, she relived 
over and over again the nightmarish evening.  She saw the knife flashing down and 
felt the cold point against her skin.  The night echoed his voice and she heard again, 
“Quit resistin’ arrest.  I’ll have to charge ya with resistin’ arrest.  Boy, Ryan said you 
was a great lay, but nothin’ could quite prepare me for this.  You’re some sweet meat, 
baby!”  She felt his hand stroking her forehead and fought with all she could.  She 
wanted only to be away from here.  Why couldn’t she be safe, even now, years after he 
had gone to jail?  Fighting with all she had in her, she struck at the hand on her arm.  
	“Eileen, honey, wake up. It’s only a nightmare.  You’re safe.  I’m right here.  
Wake up, honey.”  
	Charles stood by her side and tried to shake her awake.  Eileen thrashed in her 
sleep and fought against an enemy only present in her dreams, and yet very alive in 
her life.  
	“Eileen, honey, wake up.  You’re safe.  You’re right here, with me, and you’re 
safe.  Wake up.”  He couldn’t get her to wake up, and her thrashing threatened to tear 
the IV in her arm loose.  He carefully reached for the call button and called the night 
nurse.  
	“Please, she’s gonna hurt herself.  She’s having a nightmare and I can’t get her 
to wake up.”  Charles was frantic.  
	The nurse came in a moment later and reached down to the frightened young 
woman in the bed.  
	“Eileen, wake up.  You’re in the hospital and you are safe.  I need you to lay still 
or you are going to hurt yourself.  Wake up, dear.”  
	Charles had crossed to the other side of the bed and was praying frantically.  
“Oh, Eileen!  Wake up, honey!”  
	Eileen still fought against the man and fears that held her, until a familiar voice 
broke through the madness.  
	“Charles?  Charles, is that you?  Oh, God, he’s here, he’s here again, make him 
go away, Charles.”  Tears streaming down her face, she clasped now for the hand on 
her arm.  “Charles, make him go away!”  
	“He’s gone.  Lie still, honey.  The nurse is gonna fix your IV.  You’re OK, honey.  
Just lie still.”  
	“He’s gone?”  
	“Yes, I’m sure.  He’s gone.”  
	“Sit with me, Charles.  Make sure he doesn’t come back.”  Scooting over, she 
patted the bed beside her.  “Just hold me,” she wept.  
	He settled into the bed and held her close.  Pulling her head to him, he stroked 
her hair as her head settled into the nook on his shoulder that seemed to have been 
made for her.  
	“Go on, Eileen, get to sleep.  I’ll stay right here with you.”  
	The nurse adjusted the IV and quietly slipped from the room as Charles stroked 
Eileen’s hair.  Standing in the doorway, she smiled as he murmured comforting words 
into her ear and held her close.  
	“Call if you need me.  I think once she gets back to sleep, she’ll be fine.”  
 


Chapters 10 +: or
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